One of the keys to chiropractic care is helping you avoid injuries. This week I would like to talk about an article that I recently found. Anne Fisher with About.com has put together a great list for helping your child avoid both immediate and long term back problems due to backpacks.
First let’s take a look at some problems that heavy backpacks can cause:
- Poor posture
- Spinal disc compression
- Muscle Strain
- Misalignment of the back and neck
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Shoulder injury
These examples are bad enough, but if you read this blog regularly then you know that misalignment of the back and neck can lead to even more long term problems.
Anne Fisher lists several ways to avoid injury:
- Keep the Weight Down – Keep your child’s backpack weight at 10% of body weight or less. Encourage your child to stop at his or her locker frequently to change out textbooks and not carry any extra books. She also mentions buying a set of textbooks for home use, but scanning textbook pages into your child’s computer once a week would be a cheaper solution.
- Organize the Backpack – Keep the weight centered (between the shoulders) and put heavy items closer to your child’s back.
- A Backpack has Two Straps – Make sure your child uses both straps when wearing a backpack. Slinging it over one shoulder leads to physical compensation due to lack of balance, as well as putting more weight on one shoulder instead of spreading it over both shoulders.
- Keep the Straps Tight – Keep the straps tight and the backpack close to the body. This helps keep it centered and avoids stress from the pendulum motion of a swinging backpack.
- Pay Attention – Keep an eye your child’s spine. If he or she is adjusting body posture while carrying a backpack then it is too heavy. Don’t forget to ask your child about aches and pains. This is one of the easiest ways to avoid problems.
For chiropractic care on the Outer Banks, Dr. Craig McGiffin at Clearview Wellness can help your child with problems associated with heavy backpacks and advise you on how to avoid future injuries.
Call Dr. Craig today and put your child on the path of good health.